James Musto

Acting Principal Percussion
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JAMES MUSTO began his career performing on the drums for social events around the Jersey Shore at age 15. Subsequently, he began to privately study jazz drumming with Barry Altschul, Freddie Waits and Fred Buda of the Boston Pops. Through their influence, Musto went on to receive a Master of Music degree in percussion from The Juilliard School.

Musto has performed regularly with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra percussion section as a soloist, drum set player and principal percussionist. He has performed, toured and recorded with the New York Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Symphony Orchestra, American Ballet Theater, New York Pops and New York City Opera under the batons of Lorin Maazel, Mstislav Rostropovich, Zubin Mehta, Kurt Mazur, Alan Gilbert, Sakari Oramo, Sir Colin Davis, George Manahan and Hans Graf. As a timpanist, Musto has played with numerous symphony orchestras in the tristate area and played timpani for The Who’s Moving On tour. In addition, Musto has performed in numerous Broadway shows and on many original cast recordings.

A published writer, Musto has had articles in the Percussive Arts Journal on topics regarding timpani writing in Verdi and Mendelssohn. Musto is the director of the Percussion Ensemble at Kean University, where he also teaches private lessons and “Music in World Culture.”

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